Everyone has opinions about Harvey Weinstein, but here at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference, venerable Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke from a unique perspective: He was Weinstein’s boss for two years after Disney’s 1993 purchase of Miramax, the film distribution company founded by Weinstein and his brother Bob.
Katzenberg’s comments about Weinstein, whom he called “a monster,” were unsparing, and he says that it is now incumbent upon the movie business to finally end the era of the casting couch, which has existed since the industry’s founding. “40 women have been damaged in ways that you and I cannot even sit here and begin to imagine,” he said to the Journal’s Gerry Baker, referencing Weinstein’s accusers. “We cannot tolerate this. I don’t think there’s anyone in Hollywood today who isn’t addressing this.”
Katzenberg maintained, however, that he never saw Weinstein mistreat anyone during their years as colleagues, not counting him sounding irritated over minor mishaps with transportation or scripts. It was Bob Weinstein who treated others shabbily, Katzenberg said. And though Katzenberg didn’t elaborate, he said he gave Bob Weinstein an ultimatum: “If you do it again, you’re fired.”HM